NIOSH Extramural Research and Training

Extramural Programs

Key points

  • NIOSH funds a diverse portfolio of extramural research, training programs, and small business innovation research projects.
  • Multidisciplinary Education and Research Centers and state surveillance programs complement the breadth and depth of extramural research and training at NIOSH.
Icons related to research and industries.


Multidisciplinary centers

NIOSH funds targeted research and outreach activities through multidisciplinary centers. They focus on high-risk industries that contribute disproportionately to work-related injury and illness in the United States. A variety of grant mechanisms, including cooperative research agreements and center training grants, fund these centers.

The 12 Centers for Agricultural Safety and Health conduct research, education, and prevention projects in agriculture, forestry, and fishing. The National Construction Center focuses on applied research and translation on the safety and health hazards in construction. The 10 Centers of Excellence for Total Worker Health® (TWH) conduct multidisciplinary research, intervention, and outreach in a range of industries. TWH aims to improve the overall safety, health, and well-being of the diverse worker population in our nation.

A national network of 18 Education and Research Centers (ERCs) carries out multidisciplinary education and research training activities at universities. They provide graduate and post-graduate education in core and allied occupational safety and health disciplines. Along with degree training, ERCs deliver continuing education and outreach throughout the federal health region they serve.

Research Grants

NIOSH funds awards for investigator-initiated research and mentored research scientist career development. These awards support studies that are relevant, quality scientific investigations which aim to help reduce job-related injuries and illnesses. There are four funding opportunities for occupational safety and health research and four for World Trade Center Health Program research.

Conference grants

NIOSH values quality scientific meetings. They often result in new information to help prevent injuries, illnesses, and fatalities caused by workplace hazards. NIOSH awards conference grants under research grant mechanisms (R13 and U13).

Cooperative agreements

The State Surveillance Program supports states to develop their ability to monitor work-related injuries, illnesses, exposures, and fatalities. This program helps expand the role of states in conducting in-depth surveillance and follow-up through investigations and interventions.

The National Mesothelioma Virtual Bank for Translational Research collects quality data and biospecimens, or human body materials, for mesothelioma research.

The Commercial Fishing Occupational Safety Research and Training Program is a partnership between the U.S. Coast Guard and NIOSH. It provides funding to qualified individuals in academia, members of nonprofit organizations, municipalities, and businesses involved in the U.S. commercial fishing industry. The funding supports research on improving the occupational safety of commercial fishermen and provides critical training for this high-risk occupation.

Specialty training programs

NIOSH supports training in occupational safety and health through Training Project Grants (TPGs). The majority of TPGs are academic programs that support undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate training. Other TPGs reach targeted worker populations to meet their education needs, such as emergency responders.

NIOSH also funds two mine safety and health training programs in the Western United States.

Small business innovation research

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program stimulates the private sector to innovate technology. The SBIR program also helps small businesses to commercially apply federally supported research. In this process, they meet federal research needs as well as their own research and development needs.


Access the performance data about NIOSH's extramural programs, including annual reports. NIOSH also has research and training highlights from grantees.

Funding opportunities

Learn more about NIOSH's current funding opportunities.